Monday, July 21, 2008

No license for being a dropout?

From The Hill:
A proposal by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) to take away the driver’s licenses of high school dropouts sparked a confrontation on the House floor with the leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

Emanuel pulled back on the legislation, but the episode inflamed existing tensions between Emanuel, the No. 4 leader in the House, and the minority caucuses. The Illinois Democrat has pushed the idea of getting tough on dropouts by taking away driver’s licenses for months.

Emanuel argued for the idea in a June 7 op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Dropouts should not be drivers,” Emanuel wrote. “Requiring drivers under 18 to verify they are working toward a high school diploma is a commonsense step that works to reduce the dropout rate.”

The article noted that West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia already deny licenses to students who drop out before turning 18.
While I would like to see our young people continue their education, I question if such a measure to deny high school dropouts their driver's licenses is going to cause more harm than good. It's great to see in the rest of the article that hispanic and black members of Congress don't support this law.

There are some good reasons such as pregnancy or having to drop out to support their family. Though I'm sure it's very easy to believe that some students who drop out of high school just aren't serious so that we have to force them to stay in school. My philosophy is that it's not a smart policy.

These are probably the ones who are disruptive, because they most likely don't want to be at school. Of course that could involve bad parenting as well, however, if there are those who don't want to be in school for whatever the reason then why force them. Especially if they have something else lined up, that's legitimate, while they figure out how to further their education.

I almost forgot to add that I wonder why is this proposal being considered by the US Congress. Shouldn't this be a state issue? The federal government doesn't issue driver's licenses, the states do. Another attempt to enforce federal will on the individual "sovereign" states.

Article via Newsalert!

No-driving bills would ground dropouts in California


Mary Lee said...

5 years ago I was as skeptical as anyone on this topic. But as an Alternative High School educator in North Carolina, I have to tell you that the prospect of losing driving privileges has proven to be an effective incentive for our at-risk students to stay in school. They all have compelling reasons to want to drop out, but this one consequence keeps a surprising percentage of a very diverse student population in the classroom, maturing and learning.

I agree that this should be a state issue and not a federal one, but please don't dismiss a great idea just because someone is trying to force it on you.

Anonymous said...

Yea, whats wrong with an idea if it's just being forced. Some really great things came about that way The Holocaust,compulsory sterilization and HSU. Why not just give them freedom?

Anonymous said...

Then what with the students who do dropout due to unforseen circumstances like the example of getting pregnant? Not granting drivers license to these teens would instill much greater problems to their already complicated lives.

Anonymous said...

i think its a wrong thing to take someones freedom of having a license. Who has the right to chosse what a person wants to do in life? and isn't this the land of the free. and if it is then some people need to mind their own business and get off others back.

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